A little over a month ago, during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, the finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. On Saturday morning, the members of the class were formally announced at the NCAA Final Four.
The following players and basketball figures will officially be a part of the 2018 Hall of Fame class:
- Ray Allen
- Maurice Cheeks
- Lefty Driesell
- Grant Hill
- Jason Kidd
- Steve Nash
- Dino Radja
- Charlie Scott
- Katie Smith
- Tina Thompson
- Rod Thorn
- Ora Mae Washington
- Rick Welts
Notable names that did not make the cut are Chris Webber and Rudy Tomjanovich.
This is a pretty great class of players. Steve Nash is a two-time MVP winner and helped revolutionize NBA offenses on the "Seven Seconds or Less" Suns teams. Jason Kidd is an NBA champion, made multiple All-NBA teams, and was the best player on multiple Nets teams in his prime.
Ray Allen is arguably the greatest shooter of all time, winning titles with the 2008 Celtics and the 2013 Heat en route to becoming the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 2,973 -- over 400 more than the next player on the list.
Maurice Cheeks might be one of the most underappreciated players in NBA history. He made multiple All-Star teams, was a key member of the 76ers championship team in 1983, and had an incredible career with Philadelphia. There's a reason his jersey is hanging in the rafters there.
Grant Hill is one of the more interesting names on the list. He arguably should be in the Hall of Fame on his college basketball career alone, where he won two championships and made one of the most famous plays in NCAA History on a full-court heave to Christian Laettner. However, his NBA career remains one of the biggest "what ifs" in the history of the game. He was dominant when he entered the league and was quickly projected as one of the NBA's next all-time greats. It's a wonder how incredible he could have been if ankle injuries hadn't plagued him during his prime.
As for Thompson, she is one of the best female players to ever pick up a basketball. During her career in the WNBA, she won four straight titles with the Houston Comets and went to nine All-Star Games. She also won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. Women's National Team.
Smith is right up there with Thompson, having won two WNBA titles and a WNBA Finals MVP following a brilliant career at Ohio State.
The Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will take place on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield, Massachusetts.